'Top Chef All-Stars' Recap: Hootie Hoo Boo Hoo!

top chef all starsLast night's episode of Top Chef All-Stars didn't make a whole lot of sense -- that is until the very end, exactly when I didn't want it to make sense. In other words, the contestant who should have been sent home was, in fact, sent home. But I'm not going to pretend like I'm happy about it.


First, let's try to tackle the stuff that isn't making a whole lot of sense about the show. Namely, I'm trying to figure out why in the world they are doing the finale in The Bahamas. The producers never really made it clear why these particular islands are a fitting location for such a momentous culinary occasion as the crowning of the Top Chef All Star. True, it's during Junkanoo, one of the biggest festivals in the world. But none of the judges seem to have a particular connection to or knowledge of the culinary traditions of the region. It's just ... random.

Also confusing: Why was the "twist" in last night's episode such a big deal? The chefs were tasked with cooking a dish for "Bahamian royalty." Sure, they thought that meant that were cooking for the king and queen of The Bahamas. But when the producers dropped the bomb -- it was actually just the "king" of the Junkanoo festival -- the chefs went totally berserk and re-conceived their dishes (and were further derailed by a fryer fire -- say that 10 times). I was completely mystified by all the chefs dumbing down their dishes: Why not just cook the best dish you can?

The first 50 minutes of the show may have been puzzling, but the ending certainly was not. Everyone's favorite contestant, Carla Hall, was sent home -- and rightly so. She served judge Gail Simmons a raw piece of pork, and there just isn't any excuse for that at this level of cooking. Carla's been making it through the last few weeks by the skin of her teeth; not even the best personality in the world can cover up the fact that she's not performing as well as the other chefs. (And I'm so upset about it that I don't have the energy to worry about the fact that it looks like Mike Isabella might win the whole thing.)

Were you sad to see Carla go? Will you miss her "hootie hoos"?


Image via BravoTV

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